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Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Services being offered by Young-Williams

By Knoxville Daily Sun Staff

A new spay/neuter program is being offered at Young-Williams Animal Center to help low-income community members take advantage of the mobile Spay Shuttle. You may qualify for low-cost spay/neuter services and reduced cost surgery services if you fit into a certain income bracket.

The program was established to decrease pet overpopulation and animal homelessness even more in the Knoxville area. "Every year, we take in roughly 16,000 animals. We must work to decrease the number of homeless pets in East Tennessee, and the most simple and humane long-term solution is to spay and neuter more animals," said Dr. Michael Blackwell, administrator of Young-Williams Animal Center.

About half of the thousands of animals taken in at Young-Williams Animal Center each year are stray or abandoned pets and the other half are surrendered by their owners for various reasons such as not being able to afford to care for them.

The Spay Shuttle, a mobile spay/neuter surgical clinic, is funded by a grant from the Aslan Foundation which allows Young-Williams to provide free services. The animals served by the Spay Shuttle are those that have been identified as being at highest risk for reproduction and then admission to the shelter, based upon breed, age and residence within high-intake neighborhoods in Knoxville and Knox County.

High-risk animals include dogs and cats less than six months old, bully breeds of dogs (as these breeds account for a significant portion of the intake population at Young-Williams) and "community" or feral cats.

Young-Williams has added a clinic at the Young-Williams Animal Village. The new low-cost spay neuter clinic at the Young-Williams Animal Village, funded in part by PetSmart Charities® and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), will provide qualifying local pet owners affordable spay/neuter services for their dogs and cats. The focus of this clinic is broader, because it is important for all community pets to be spayed and neutered.

The standard co-pay will be $35-$65 depending on species (cat or dog) and gender. Additional grants may be available to supplement these low co-pays. Grant availability will change over time, and can be determined when the pet owner calls for an appointment. Typical fees for spay and neuter surgeries in the Greater Knoxville area can average up to a few hundred dollars, depending on gender and other factors.

In order to qualify for the low-cost spay/neuter service, pet owners will need to provide evidence of some form of state or federal public assistance. Young-Williams staff will assist individuals in determining their eligibility. The spay/neuter clinic will open on Jan. 17, and the public is asked to call 865-215-6677 starting Jan. 12 to request an appointment.

Young-Williams also will work with organizations in nearby counties to provide spay/neuter services for citizens throughout East Tennessee through the Young-Williams Animal Village spay/neuter clinic. Many East Tennessee counties have limited or nonexistent low-cost spay/neuter resources.

To learn more about Young-Williams Animal Center and the spay/neuter program, visit

Published January 16, 2012

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